• Print Innovation Asia

CGS ORIS Set To Blaze The Colour Trail in Asia Pacific in 2022

As we enter 2022, Print Innovation Asia caught up with Christoph Thommessen, Managing Director Global Sales for CGS ORIS to review the past year and lay out exciting plans to extend its colour expertise reach in Asia Pacific even more.

1. As we close for 2021, kindly give us an update on how CGS ORIS has been doing overall, and comment on Asia Pacific specifically?

Of course, CGS ORIS has also not been completely unaffected by the current pandemic. Initially, it was difficult to understand the impact of all the restrictions as they came in gradually, step-by-step. We could not imagine a world without traveling as we usually try to keep close personal contact to both our clients and our dealer network. But as everybody else we had to adopt to the (still) unreal scenario: meetings on MS Teams or Zoom became a common practice, trainings and installations were done remotely.

Despite all those difficulties we managed to have a good year overall, both globally, and also in the Asia Pacific region. In some areas, we have actually enjoyed growth, compared to 2019, since we have a strong foothold in many geographic and vertical markets and we were able to shift our focus on lucrative markets and niches.

We have had several major upgrades in our software despite the pandemic, and a lot of these tools are addressing the packaging market. We noticed people in Asia Pacific are very curious about new developments and willing to be entrepreneurs in their segment.

Take extended gamut printing as an example: Besides being very critical about the impression of the colour, many printers are interested to print more sustainably. In this area, we can definitely help with our solutions, supported by our strong technical team in Asia Pacific.

They have shown their technical expertise by helping our client Huayuan in China to achieve the world’s first G7 certification for metal printing, just as an example.

2. What are your thoughts on CGS’ current reach in Asia? What plans do you have to grow in this region?

During Covid, we spent the time preparing our team and channel partners for when the pandemic ends. We have had some restructuring of our Asia team, which already started before the Covid-19 outbreak, and will most likely take more people on board. This is especially so in China as the growth there is exponential.

All our team members are very enthusiastic about colour; and they all know what they are talking about. Due to their knowledge, we managed to partner with new resellers in certain countries, so our current reach is actually very well-shaped. Once travelling is no longer restricted, we expect further growth.

In addition to that, we have new strategic partners in the region, which will enable us to tackle the business in new emerging markets like industrial printing.

3. Moving forward, what are your main growth focuses for 2022?

There are a couple of aces in my sleeve I cannot yet tell you about. Our intention is to supply really open products (no propriety formats!) in a modular way, so clients can implement what they need easily and smoothly.

The use of spectral data in the colour communication process will gain further momentum as it erases disputes and guarantees the same colour from design to print. The colour definitions are stored in the cloud and administered by the brand owner, making it really simple and straight forward. Plus, it uses CxF as an open data format!

Extended gamut printing in the packaging segment will also continue to grow. For several years already, CGS has put a particular focus on the needs of the packaging Industry. This year has seen some exciting new and exclusive developments, with the introduction of direct-to-substrate proofing in cooperation with Mutoh, Japan. This will be another game changer in 2022.

CGS has also entered a cooperation with Sun Chemical, which has led to a special proofing system for the beverage can industry.

You will also see CGS ORIS expanding with new products into emerging markets like the flooring in home decoration industry, which is rapidly turning to digital. In that context, we already have entered into new strategic partnerships. This, we will continue to do so.

4. There has been challenges in the market due to the pandemic. What has changed and how has CGS ORIS responded? As we move into an endemic state globally, which of these changes do you foresee will continue to remain?

With global travel being restricted, the one thing that will remain here is a big push towards technology. For us at CGS ORIS, we will continue to help customers streamline their approval process and monitor quality on a global level, like cloud based colour exchange systems, or remote proofing technologies.

Even if the pandemic was over tomorrow, we would still have to manage the following issues: problems in the supply chain, problems in logistics, sharply rising energy and raw material cost, just to mention a few.

These are factors that are out of our control, and we will have to adapt and accommodate on the parts that we can influence. The way we’ve set up our business during the pandemic is very robust, but of course the less restrictions there are, the easier it is for all of us.

5. What are some business lessons that you have learnt from the pandemic?

On one hand, we saw how important it is to always be prepared to quickly and flexibly adapt your business concept to a radically changed environment and the huge value of having a team that is capable of implementing new procedures without delay.

On the other hand, we realised the value of a personal meeting: it is higher than ever before. I really miss my regular visits to Asia, seeing clients, business partners, and friends. The next time we are able to travel again, I will definitely appreciate every minute I can spend with these people.

6. You rebranded to a more integrated CGS ORIS in 2020. Is the transition complete?

Yes, we have had a corporate identity change, and our Marketing, especially Dr. Isabel Bracker, really did a fantastic job. It is definitely worth having a look on our website (www.cgs-oris.com) and social media channels, especially LinkedIn.

Of course, this is an ongoing process, but it has already helped to establish the brand even further globally. Not only due to Covid, we have put emphasis on a multi-channel approach, particularly using social media and virtual events to connect with existing and potential customers.


7. Tell us more about the hero products from CGS ORIS, and what is growing traction in Asia Pacific? What has been doing well, what has the customers in Asia been using the most of?

Our direct-to-substrate proofing, FLEX PACK, has probably been the most successful newly launched product.

Colour accuracy is the key component of the FLEX PACK system. Flex Pack is the most colour accurate package proofing and prototyping system in the market. It’s the only inkjet-based packaging solution that delivers colour accuracy, spot varnish, embossing and foiling effects.

Other packaging products are also seeing a lot of traction in the region, like the CXF TOOLS for spectral colour prediction and X GAMUT for fixed palette printing.

8. What is the process of creating workflow solutions like? Can you bring us through the creative development process?

CGS is not developing new solutions based solely on internal considerations. We pride ourselves to partner closely with customers, suppliers, industry partners and leading associations in the printing industry, allowing us to react very early to new technologic trends and adapting to new emerging fields.

Developing new applications and workflows is a constant dialogue with customers, who willing to test and trial new products, thus eliminating weak points and leading us to new ideas and improved functionality.

Some of those partnerships include our long-lasting relationship with Fujifilm Business Innovations (formerly Fuji Xerox) across Asia Pacific, and we have just inked a collaboration with Hanglobal.

Obviously the pandemic has not assisted in driving these relationships further, but we are on a good way. We are also talking to some other players in a different field, but I cannot really comment on this yet! Rest assured, we will keep you updated on that!

9. What are some of the innovative applications that your customer has done recently that made you go “wow”?

There are a few things that come to mind, such as the G7 certification in metal printing. Great achievement by the client!

Also, I received the other day a sample book that Fujifilm in China printed for their clients on a Jet Press 750S, together with our software! It compares offset and JetPress and you really cannot tell the difference. Amazing.

10. Any last messages?

A big thank you to all our clients and resellers, without your loyalty and trust in our products we were nothing! Therefore, we appreciate all you do for and with us!

To all of you have a fabulous start into 2022 and may it be a better year for all of us!

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